I'm an avid fan of the Think With Google blog, and this week, there was a post that caught my eye and I thought was worth sharing with you.

The article, "Mindset Matters: How Leading Marketers Are Driving Growth," shares the results of research undertaken by Google and Econsultancy into what top marketers are doing to achieve outstanding results at their companies.

What they found was that the marketers who outperform the competition share three common attributes. 

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The topic of cheap logo design, or low-cost design work in general, is one that quickly causes riots to break out in the design community. Keyboards sailing through the air, potted succulents shattered on the floor. Designer anarchy.

Or, at the very least, passive-aggressive comment chains on social media.

But what are the reasons business owners turn to cheaper design options in the first place? More importantly, what do you stand to lose by going with a cheap design, and what might you gain?

I will always be an advocate for good, labor-intensive creative work, but the prevalence of cheap, quick design work can't be denied.

In this episode of the Creator's Block podcast, Liz and I walk the line between these two extremes and dive into the positives and negatives of "low-rent" logo design, and what they mean for the people who write the checks.

We also talk about what business owners truly miss out on by not being involved enough in the logo design process, or by overlooking what is essentially the cornerstone of their entire visual brand.

In the end we came to a similar, simple conclusion: You get what you pay for.

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When it comes to inbound marketing, most people forget inbound sales, the other side of the inbound coin. 

Together, inbound marketing and inbound sales are the secret for converting more leads and closing more deals. HubSpot's sales tools are designed to support the opposite approach to the traditional strategies of cold calls. They are built as a personalized platform that will help you understand your customers better and provide your sales team with the tools they need to build, automate and accelerate their sales process.

So today, I want to take a look at these tools and show you what I see as each of their biggest advantages. 

Let’s dive in.

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The Guide to Creating Mind Blowing Content

Let's face it, there is a lot of content out there. How do you get yours to stand out? Simple, make it mind blowing.

42 pages full of ideas for creating awesome content that converts visitors into leads and leads into customers!

If you are like most of the business people I work with, you'd like to get more good, qualified leads from your website. While many businesses initially grow as the result of referrals and word of mouth, at some point, that will only get you so far.

To succeed in today's digital world, you've got to build a digital funnel that attracts qualified prospects to your site and converts them into leads.

While many companies that I work with have been successful at using strategies such as inbound marketing to grow their website traffic, the vast majority seem to struggle with lead conversion. That's where conversion rate optimization - or CRO - can help.

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I'm a bit of a junkie when it comes to NPR podcasts - especially since a lot of their best radio content airs when I'm busy here at the Quintain office, working on content for our clients. So the fact that I can catch up on what I missed on live radio after it airs makes me happy. 

But I'm not here to wax poetic about podcasts or NPR. Instead, I want to share a specific episode of Fresh Air, during which Craig Silverman of Buzzfeed Media was interviewed regarding what he learned about the fake news that plagued the recent election. (It's approximately 36 minutes long, but there is a transcript at the link.)

I tuned in as a politics nerd. But to my surprise, I found myself riveted as a marketer

By the conclusion of the interview, I had to admit that while I find the idea of fake news utterly repugnant, those behind it weren't successful by accident. In fact, when you push the heaping mess of politics aside, there is a lot us marketers can glean from what they were able to accomplish. 

So in this week's episode of Creator's Block, Shelby (in her first week as my full-time co-host!) and I talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of fake news. Because while you may want to roll your eyes and dismiss fake news, there is plenty to be learned.

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Happy new year! I hope your 2017 is off to a great start. This week, I wanted to share my insights on something I think will be a game changer in 2017: account-based marketing.

ABM is a strategic marketing approach in which companies target a specific prospect and develop full marketing and communication strategies geared entirely towards that one prospect. With ABM, your target market consists of a single buyer.

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